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Collections ‘crisis’ hits Bridgend

Bridgend County Borough Council has said waste service improvements are “urgently required” by contractor Kier, as some collections have been missed by up to two weeks.

Kier began a seven-year contract with the council from 5 June, which restricts the majority of households to throwing out a maximum of two bags of residual waste a fortnight. Residents have also been given caddies for weekly recycling collections.

But there has been widespread concern over the number of missed collections, with many residents choosing to vent their spleen on Twitter.

An open letter signed by a number of councillors, reported in the local press, called on council leader Huw David to recognise that a “crisis is unfolding before us”.

It added: “You must robustly manage Kier and you must rethink this ill-conceived regime that is bringing so much concern and alarm to the residents of Bridgend County Borough.”

A statement from the council said it was working with Kier to address the situation. It read: “These include increasing the number of staff at Kier’s call centre, introducing an additional vehicle to ensure that collections can be completed in some of the county borough’s harder-to-reach streets, working over weekends to help complete rounds, boosting crew numbers and more.”

The council added that, despite the difficulties, there were “positive results” as there had been a 50% increase in the recycling rate.

Julian Tranter, Kier’s managing director, said: “We are sorry for the issues some residents have experienced with their collections during the introduction of the new service. We are working hard to ensure that all refuse and recycling collections are up to date and have successfully completed at least 90% of our planned collections every day since the start of the contract.

“In the first two weeks of the contract we’ve seen a 50% increase in recycling and would like to thank residents for their participation in the new service.

“Our teams are continuing to carry out additional checks to ensure no properties have been missed and we have increased the number of agents in our call centre to keep pace with demand. We are however experiencing an exceptionally high number of calls, so there may still be a short delay in calls being answered.”

  • This article was updated at 3.50pm to include a comment from Kier

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